Goshen, Ind. – Senior Mercedes Mancha (Elgin, Ill./Streamwood) qualified for the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Marion, Ind., last weekend to highlight the Saint Xavier University women's track team's first meet of the outdoor season at the Maple Leaf Track & Field Invitational hosted by Goshen College in Goshen, Ind. Mancha turned in a "B" standard qualifying time of 28:06.19 in the 5,000-meter race-walk. She is a two-time NAIA All-American in the event. Other key SXU performers for the opening meet included senior Rachael Dean (Lindenhurst, Ill./Judson University/Lakes) winning the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:50.18 and senior Jackie Ott (Island Lake, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) finishing second overall in the 800-meter run with a 2:20.18 clocking.
"What a great way for Mercedes to start the outdoor season of her senior year," said Saint Xavier University women's track coach Lisa Ebel. "Her time at this meet was really close to her lifetime personal best, so I'm very excited to see her improve in her final season. It was a great first meet and I know the team was anxious to get outside and get in some quality competition."
The 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships is held from Thursday, May 23, to Saturday, May 25, at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. Last season, Mancha earned All-American recognition at the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships claiming fifth place overall with a time of 32:11.25.